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-   -   RPGWatch Feature: Tales of Torment, Part 2 (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2355)

Dhruin August 1st, 2007 07:05

RPGWatch Feature: Tales of Torment, Part 2
The second and concluding part of Brother None's excellent interview with Chris Avellone and Colin McComb is now online, offering an insight into the creative process, story and more. This part contains spoilers, so be warned:

RPGWatch: Factions featured strongly in the background of PS:T. Any factions you would have wanted to expand or add?

Chris Avellone: We actually wanted to add all of them, but there just wasn't the resources to do it - the Chaosmen was something I realized could be thrown in quickly, so I went ahead and did it. Also, we did want a Doomguard faction just because of Vhailor's presence, but again, we ran out of resources there as well.
Colin McComb: I would have liked to expand the Godsmen. I donít think I gave them nearly enough credit, nor do I feel I made them interesting enough or involving enough. I think the Harmonium were well represented by Ebb Creakknees. I would have loved to get the Doomguard involved, and the Athar, but the whole no-powers-rule in the game kind of obviated their involvement.
Also included is a short voice sample and the original Vision statement used to pitch the game (conceived as "Last Rites") to management in 1997 (language warning).
Read it all here.
More information.

Brother None August 1st, 2007 07:05

Faster than I thought, kewl!

Thanks again for publishing, Dhruin. Good work all around.

Dhruin August 1st, 2007 07:10

Thanks for the excellent content - it was a pleasure. :)

Amasius August 1st, 2007 08:07


Originally Posted by Chris Avellone
Thomas, this was fun.

And also a great fun to read. Excellent interview, I almost shed some tears. The Vision statement is fascinating.

Korplem August 1st, 2007 08:46

Hah! The Last Rites vision statement is actually pretty fun to read.

txa1265 August 1st, 2007 15:31

Another very nice one! Really good to get the insights.

talesfromthecrypt August 1st, 2007 19:21

They used this document to convince the suits to make the game?

Man, Interplay managment must have been a pretty cool, humorous and relaxed bunch of guys back then.

talesfromthecrypt August 1st, 2007 19:33

Oh, and that concept art for the characters seen there are absolutly amazing.

HiddenX August 1st, 2007 19:41

Good interview -> I want more games like PS:T

JuliusMagnus August 1st, 2007 21:04


Originally Posted by talesfromthecrypt (Post 38480)
Man, Interplay managment must have been a pretty cool, humorous and relaxed bunch of guys back then.

That's probably why it folded.

magerette August 1st, 2007 21:43

Great article, and well worth the read. Thanks to Brother None, the Watch and especially to the Planescape guys. May everyone's dream of another game in the same setting come true.

Hedek August 2nd, 2007 01:46

EXCELLENT feature, thanks RPGWatch, I wish gaming sites had more things like that, with game developers telling the truth, backed by the actual design docs… not some bullshit PR talk we're getting served 24/7.

Brother None August 2nd, 2007 02:35

Ironically, tho', the Last Rites vision statement is exactly the kind of thing you don't want to see in public until long after the game's release. It contains quite a few design goals that never made it into the game, and things that changed drastically.

jsaving August 2nd, 2007 02:49

An excellent interview that brought back fond memories of the most thought-provoking CRPG ever produced.

The endgame discussion was particularly illuminating, but I can't resist mentioning one unanswered question. The "Lawful Good" ending to the game held out at least a glimmer of hope that the Nameless One's companions might rescue him from his final fate. (Which I thought was interesting in itself, suggesting that the companions had also come to embrace the power of belief.) I'd be interested to know whether Chris and Colin saw the companions as following through.

Corwin August 2nd, 2007 05:45

Definitely one of the best set of articles I've read in ages. It helps that PS-T is my number 1 game!! :)

slam23 August 2nd, 2007 09:02

Wow. Let me rephrase that: double wow. The vision statement goes very nicely into my collection of unofficial-out-of-game PS:T related stuff, thanks! I picked up some new ways of swearing also….. :) I think Chris and Colin should not take credit for something that clearly was written by Morte. Loved the feature, looking forward to seeing more of these "post-mortem" interviews of classic cRPG's. One thing frustrated me out of my bone box though, that being the great ideas for spinnin' off new games with my favorite characters that probably never will happen. It's like fantasizing about new stories by Tolkien that also will never be written. Definitly going to check out the Planescape modules for NWN2 though, anybody got pointers on that?

Avantenor August 2nd, 2007 11:32

I think he means Rogue Dao.

Said personally before, but again: Great interview!

aries100 August 2nd, 2007 14:25

Well, back then in the 1990's, the suits actually were gamers themselves. Gamers who just happened to be good at PR, or good at crushing numbers etc. etc. Today, however, people are hired to do this. And they look to the market, and see what sells. And what sells seems to be hybrid FPS/RPG games or hybrid RTS/RPG/ games. So they make (often false) sales projections on how much a single unit (a game will sell) after its first release….and invest accordingly. [To compare, books once were published by book editors who loved books, not so anymore, now all publishers want is the next Nadime Gordiner, the next J.K. Rowling or the next
best seller].

The thing is, though, the collective mind of the people is very fickle and changing, this means that you don't know what the public wants, at least not 4-5 years ahead of time. (at least not always).

The other thing to remember is that management at Interplay/Black Isle never actually seemed to discover this game at all, they just had a busier time laying their eyes and hands on Fallout and Baldur's Gate series of games.

And, I agree with you all… Great job, brother none. It was a very good job and some wery interesting questions, too. Sometimes I think developers like to answer the tough questions and some different questions that stands apart from what the main stream gaming media are asking them. The answers from Chris&Chris clearly show that they know what they are doing, and that they are capable of reflecting on their jobs, as well as evaluating their games. Not something every developer is capable off doing….

and, yes, it was a fun read :) Please read it, too :)

slam23 August 2nd, 2007 17:24

@Avantenor: thanks for the link, looks really promising. I hadn't thought of checking out NWN2 as possible source for Planescape setting mods. I had followed Planescape: Vengeance for a time, but I lost track of it and I think it has vanished.

Arpyjee August 3rd, 2007 07:34


Originally Posted by HiddenX (Post 38485)
Good interview -> I want more games like PS:T


But the CEO management mentality is so different (in terms of blatant greed) now in 2007 than even 5 years ago, that they won't likely put up funds/resources for the complex and highbrow project delivered by creative genius and their imagination. The indie route seems the only way.

Hopefully there is some change in the conformist corporate model over the next few years.

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